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Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

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  • Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

    Not to get "gnostic" but the Gospel of Thomas is the only place where Jesus said to his disciples that James would be his successor.

    Prior to his death Jesus said the following to Peter in front of the disciples:

    "You are 'Rock,' and on this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    "I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven."

    "Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


    After the resurrection Jesus reinstates Peter:

    Jesus and Peter

    15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

    How and why was James (and who added “the Just”) chosen to be their leader? Did it have to do with his blood lineage to Jesus? Could have been that James was considered the oldest of Jesus’s brothers?
    I know what I know
    I know what I don't know
    I don't know what I don't know.

  • #2
    Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

    Why is any man chosen and placed into any position of leadership? It is by divine appointment of the Holy Spirit.

    But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. (I Corinthians 12:18 NKJV)
    Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

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    • #3
      Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

      Originally posted by ChangedByHim View Post
      Why is any man chosen and placed into any position of leadership? It is by divine appointment of the Holy Spirit.

      But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. (I Corinthians 12:18 NKJV)
      Come on. Can't you simply answer a reasonable question with some facts if you have any? There is no mention of casting lots anywhere like there was for Matthias. I would think how the leader of the disciples (then apostles) was chosen would be disclosed or at least worthy of mention. And since James was chosen by whatever method or means, it doesn't strike you as odd that he wasn't one of the original 12?
      I know what I know
      I know what I don't know
      I don't know what I don't know.

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      • #4
        Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

        The very closest thing to be said is that Jesus made a personal appearance to James after the resurrection (mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15). Otherwise, there is nothing that can truly tell us why James became the central leader of the Christians in Jerusalem.

        As for Peter, he was maybe the most vocal and zealous of the disciples, and he maybe even had a closer relationship to Jesus than other disciples as a result, but Jesus never actually appointed him to be the leader of the entire Christian community. Jesus' instruction to Peter about 'binding' and 'loosing' (in Matthew 16) is repeated two chapters later, with 'you' in the plural. Jesus' statement to Peter was a contextually personalized form of this instruction, and we should understand the statement of the 'keys of the kingdom' in the same way. It is a mistake to read Jesus' words as an appointment of Peter's singular leadership over all others. The same explanation applies to when Jesus reconciles with Peter (in John 21). Jesus is reversing Peter's earlier threefold denial of Jesus, by giving him the opportunity to threefold profess his love for Jesus. Nothing in their dialogue has Jesus appointing Peter as the singular leader over all others.

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        • #5
          Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

          Maybe James was staying in that one particular place, but Peter and other disciples set out to plant churches everywhere--they were evangelists.
          My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16

          "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)

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          • #6
            Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

            Originally posted by Nick View Post
            Come on. Can't you simply answer a reasonable question with some facts if you have any? There is no mention of casting lots anywhere like there was for Matthias. I would think how the leader of the disciples (then apostles) was chosen would be disclosed or at least worthy of mention. And since James was chosen by whatever method or means, it doesn't strike you as odd that he wasn't one of the original 12?
            I figured you wouldn't like my answer. Is it hard to believe that the early church was led by the Holy Spirit and not the political system within most of today's church? My answer is the accurate one. I thought you wanted an accurate answer.
            Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

              Two questions:

              Why should we rely on a quote found only in the Gospel of Thomas?

              How does one conclude that the apostles even had a particular man that was "leader" over them? I don't see any reason to think that.

              In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

              Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

              If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

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              • #8
                Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                Originally posted by TrustGzus View Post
                Two questions:

                Why should we rely on a quote found only in the Gospel of Thomas?

                How does one conclude that the apostles even had a particular man that was "leader" over them? I don't see any reason to think that.
                It is pretty clear from Acts 15 that James was the leader of the church at Jerusalem.
                Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                  Originally posted by ChangedByHim View Post
                  It is pretty clear from Acts 15 that James was the leader of the church at Jerusalem.
                  And also Acts 21 he has a prominent role there. I agree with you. However, a leader or even the leader of the church in Jerusalem is not the same thing as saying the leader over the apostles.

                  In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

                  Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

                  If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                    This is Nick's response to ChangedByHim:

                    Originally posted by Nick View Post
                    Come on. Can't you simply answer a reasonable question with some facts if you have any?
                    This is why it is a waste of time to even try to discuss anything with you. You're an adult, don't you know how to talk to people yet, especially brothers in Christ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                      Originally posted by LandShark View Post
                      This is Nick's response to ChangedByHim:

                      This is why it is a waste of time to even try to discuss anything with you. You're an adult, don't you know how to talk to people yet, especially brothers in Christ?
                      I know how to talk to people just fine. I asked a pretty straightforward question. I was looking for biblical facts. And he can speak for himself if my response was in any way offensive.
                      I know what I know
                      I know what I don't know
                      I don't know what I don't know.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                        Originally posted by Nick View Post
                        I know how to talk to people just fine. I asked a pretty straightforward question. I was looking for biblical facts. And he can speak for himself if my response was in any way offensive.
                        I'm not offended. But you certainly have a carnal way at looking at spiritual truth. My response was clearly backed by scripture and was specific to your question. What were you looking for, "because everyone liked James better than Peter?"
                        Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                          Originally posted by ChangedByHim View Post
                          I'm not offended. But you certainly have a carnal way at looking at spiritual truth. My response was clearly backed by scripture and was specific to your question. What were you looking for, "because everyone liked James better than Peter?"
                          Sorry. I was looking for a more specific reason as to why/how James was chosen to lead especially since Jesus's brothers, James included, weren't very supportive during his ministry. In fact, quite the opposite.
                          I know what I know
                          I know what I don't know
                          I don't know what I don't know.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                            Personally, I feel that since Peter was a hypocrite when it came to the relationship between the Jews and Gentiles and Christ... God could not effectively use Him as a "leader" in Jerusalem.
                            Slug1--out

                            ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~

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                            • #15
                              Re: Why was James chosen to lead the Apostles?

                              Originally posted by Nick View Post
                              Sorry. I was looking for a more specific reason as to why/how James was chosen to lead especially since Jesus's brothers, James included, weren't very supportive during his ministry. In fact, quite the opposite.
                              To expand on my thought: I believe that James displayed the call and anointing of the Holy Spirit to lead and this was recognized by the early church, especially the 12.

                              As for anything special that designated him, we do know that he received a special appearance from the resurrected Lord. Perhaps something from that visitation was instrumental in his placement.

                              1 Cor 15:7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
                              Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

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